Slippery pavements keep shoppers away from Hatfield farmers’ market

SHOPPERS venturing into Hatfield town centre for the monthly farmers’ market have hit out at the “wickedly treacherous” conditions they had to face.

And the county council has been slated for risking public safety by not ensuring the area was gritted.

Gill Woods contacted the Welwyn Hatfield Times after returning home from Saturday’s market.

She said: “The public walkways were so slippery I found it impossible to walk safely through and around the market as the council had not gritted any of the paths. “I feel sorry for the traders, as a lot of people were turning around and just leaving without bothering to go to the market.”

Mrs Woods added: “I then went to Woodhall shops and found the paths had been gritted and were quite safe to walk on.

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John Deans, another unhappy shopper, said: “Underfoot the market was so wickedly treacherous with uncleared and untreated snow and ice that customers and stallholders alike crept about in fear of life and limb.

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“So bad were these conditions that customers were frightened away.

“But it would have needed only a few hours work with the appropriate equipment to prevent these hazardous conditions in the Market Square.”

No-one from Hertfordshire County Council has responded to the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said the town centre area was public highway, and therefore the responsibility of the county council.

She said: “Hertfordshire Highways did ask us for assistance to clear snow from high priority footways last week.

“We informed them promptly that all our staff were working on other environmental services and therefore were unable to help.”

“If services had been suspended, we would have offered staff to help with snow clearance after we’d cleared our land that we’ve identified as priority areas.”

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